Friday, April 8, 2011

On the inside... the Psych ER Saga Continues

So Where did we leave off? Oh, yes, Rage Guy...

I was in more danger sitting in the friggin’ ward than I would have been wandering the streets!

So finally, after a couple hours, I was called in to see the nurse. She took my pulse, my blood pressure, my blood. I had to roll up my sleeve for her to do this.  My other sleeve, not the arm I was bleeding from, but still one with prominent scarring. This gave me a momentary heart attack because I thought they'd ask to see both arms after seeing the one. She asked me a bunch of questions and walked me back out to the ward where I was informed that a social worker would be with me “soon”.

Back to Rage Guy. Who was even more ragey. He was getting red, veins starting to throb in his forehead. He was onto stories of how he nearly killed a guy the last time he got this mad. Pacing. Back and forth. Much to close for comfort. I was expecting him to start throwing chairs like he was threatening. Take one and throw it right through the nurses’ station window. In the mean time, they’d admitted some grizzly mountain guy that smelled like he’d rolled in week old beer and garbage someone had pissed on, muttering to himself incoherently.

“Soon” apparently meant an hour and a half later. The clock on the wall was the loudest thing in there. The steady tick, tick, tick, was enough to drive anyone mad.

The social worker came and got me. She asked me the same questions the nurse did. Then started my psych evaluation. Apparently she’d been on the phone with Boring-Ex who informed her that I was a cutter.  Asshat. So I did what I do best. Lie with the truth. Put on my mask of the little girl, exhausted, a little vulnerable, scared, soft spoken, exceptionally pleasant, and wonderfully rational. I admitted that yes I overreacted but I didn’t quite mean what Boring-Ex thought I meant (I did word my suicide threat well enough that I didn’t outright say I was going to off myself).  There was some misunderstanding in what I said. Yes, I had been a cutter, but it’s not a problem. Admitting things in half truths, admitting where I made ‘mistakes’, giving them the answers they wanted to hear in a manner that made me appear soft but very competent.

After this they lead me back out into the ward. Where I had to take a phone call.
They called my parents. Seriously? I’m 29 years old and they’re calling my parents? Who, by the way, are 500 fucking miles away. What are they going to do besides have a heart attack? So I was sitting on the phone with my mom at 4 in the bleeding morning trying to explain to her that, no, I didn’t try to kill myself, my ex is just a giant douche bag.

An hour later I got to repeat the entire process a THIRD time for the Ward psychiatrist. I’m sure they were trying to see if my story slipped. I’m a fucking genius, and you think I can’t lie, cheat, and manipulate my way out of a psych evaluation? And the Oscar goes to. Medical professionals can be really stupid sometimes.

She decided I was stable enough to go. Plus my blood work came back negative for all drugs and they didn’t have a leg to hold me on. Though they would have had they done a physical examination too.

Back to the ward.

Where Rage Guy was losing his GODDAMN MIND. I couldn’t have given a shit less. On some level I knew I was about 10 seconds away from getting shanked in the collateral damage but it didn’t faze me. I just watched with rapt attention, amused beyond reason. He had started to yell, flex his muscles, hit the walls. The nurses came in, trying to reason with him. Because that was going to work? Finally they informed him that if he didn’t calm down they were going to dose him with a tranquilizer. Three guesses on how he took that. A security guard grabbed my arm and pulled me away. The door to the nurses’ station opened and about a dozen armed security guards swarmed in, circling Rage Guy. He was still threatening ALL of them. He was a cornered animal in fight mode. Ultimatum: Either take the tranquilizer or they were going to beat him down and drag him to lock up. He crumbled. They dosed him.
Not amused.

The guard that grabbed me had pulled me off to the side. Where they locked me in a small room, for my own protection. And forgot about me. About an hour later I tapped on the glass and they said they’d let me out when they found the key. Excuse me?!? I’m in a small, dark room, lit only through the glass from the nurses’ station and they don’t know where the key is?  I was fucking pissed. Why the hell was I the one locked away?

They let me back into the ward. Welcome to the waiting room from hell. Because that's what I did for the next few hours. Wait. Maybe purgatory would be a better description.

Finally, finally, around 8 in the morning I was handed my discharge papers and given my socks/shoes/phone/wallet and a cab voucher.

What do you say to a cabbie that just picked you up from the Psych ER? It was a lovely spring morning.

And finally it was time to suture my own leg.

Psych ER. Shit hole. Wrapped in cellophane.

Never, ever, again.

And thus ends my adventure in the Psych ER. Please join us next time. Or not. Because I will never, ever go there again. 

Tomorrow, morals of the story and explanation with lessons learned

Thursday, April 7, 2011

On the inside... the Psych ER Saga

Have you ever been to the Psych ER? It’s a shit hole wrapped in cellophane.

Back at the ranch is where I {somewhat vaguely} threatened Boring-Ex that I’d kill myself. He was a dick, he needed to know it. Didn’t mean I planned to act on it. Bad move.

Not only did I get an ambulance and the cops parked outside of my new apartment, I was freaking out that we’d get evicted after having just moved in. This is not a good first impression.

As soon as the Rescue Kids and the cop walked into my kitchen I flipped mental modes. I turned off the crazy and slipped into competent. Like a glove. Seamlessly. Doe eyed and sleepy cute, calmly explaining that it had been a misunderstanding, Boring-ex was overreacting. I almost had the cop convinced. I had him at the point where if I could call Boring-ex and have him take back the accusation, he’d accept I was fine. So there I am, on the phone with my ex, trying my damnedest to keep my shit together, still slightly drunk trying to reason with him about why this was ridiculous and he absolutely REFUSED to call off the cop. He could have, but oh no. So the cop was ‘forced’ to accept that I was not ok. He said I could either come voluntarily to the Psych ER or he would have to arrest me and process me and then take me to the ER.

By ‘voluntarily’ he meant; do it or I’m going to arrest you. What the fuck kind of choice is that?

Enough build up. So he walked me out to his patrol car, in my baggy sweatshirt and pajamas. My arm and leg bleeding.  At least I got to sit in the front.
By the time we got to the Psych ER, I had the cop convinced that I was fine, he actually apologized for having to do this, but there was no choice at this point. I shouldn’t have been there, I didn’t want to be and I was getting out as soon as possible. Lies, deceit and acting appropriately are no foreign things.
Down the long, glaringly white hallway we went. The first thing they did was pull the tie out of my sweatshirt and take my socks and shoes. To be replaced by vomit colored grippy socks. And that was it. I guess they were worried that I’d hang myself with a drawstring? Sure.

So what happened next? Not a bloody fucking thing. I shuffled into the ward in my grippy socks. They admitted me and made me sit in a little room with uncomfortable chairs and maddeningly blue lights that made everything look green and surreal. Except the horrid grippy socks. They were just grippy.

There was a cute girl in there with me and we chatted. What a match we would have made. Can you imagine the Craigslist Missed Connection? ‘Cute girl in the Psych ward. I was the one in the sweatshirt trying not to drip blood on the floor. Hope your drug problem is better. Call me!’

After she left she was replaced by Rage Guy. I tried not to make eye contact but we were the only lucid people in there. The homeless guy passed out on the floor and the druggie going through withdrawal rocking in the corner weren’t big with the conversation. He seemed fine at first. The longer he was there, the more worked up he got. I talked to him just to keep him calmed down. I couldn’t have cared less if he imploded but it was pretty clear that he’d have taken me with him when he Hulked out and tore the place down.

I was in more danger sitting in the friggin’ ward that I would have been wandering the streets! 

Tomorrow the Saga continues... What will Rage Guy do next? Stay Tuned for Part 2

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring Sucks... OR... Field trip to the Psych ER

Woohoo. One year anniversary of having been in the Psych ER! Ok, not really a celebratory thing. 

This time of year really bloody sucks.

Hm. Let’s back up. I’m Major Depressive. Yes, I know you know. For whatever reason, ever since I was about 12 years old I’ve had a couple week period of deep depression. Deeper than usual. Always around the end of March, beginning of April. When I was younger, before I understood what was going on with me I noticed it in my grades. I get A’s easily. As my mood deteriorated I wouldn’t even lift an eye to my grades. I got a B in math and my teacher pulled me aside after class and asked me if I had someone to talk to. Every year I had this pattern. {Relatively} Okay, okay, deepest darkest despair, okay. It persists. Everything is always harder for me at the beginning of spring. Darker, spiraling down faster than I can usually brace myself for. For the life of me I don’t know why. If it was winter I’d say I had SAD, except I’m always depressed anyways, and winter isn’t any worse for me than any other time. It’s like a very long cycling badness.

This was my main point for this post, but I figure I’d follow up with an amusing anecdote.

Last year around this time was the final explosion between me and Boring-ex. I’ve mentioned that the only times I really like him is when we’re breaking up, right? I had just moved into my new apartment, finally out of the house I’d shared with Evil-ex and was probably the happiest I’d been in a long, long time. That lasted about two weeks when Boring-ex got his period and abruptly flipped out on me. I hadn’t actually done anything this time, so I was shocked. We ended up screaming in the street, him bitching like a little girl and me not willing to take his shit.

So of course, I went completely crazy. A lot of factors contributed to this though. I only see my family maybe 4 times a year and I was skipping one of those times to spend Easter with Boring-ex, which was that weekend. I was incredibly homesick. I had just started meds for the {first} time a week or two earlier – with a warning that starting new meds could toss my emotional state. This time of year is notoriously detrimental to my mood for deeper depression.  I had just escaped Evil-Ex. We had broken up a while ago, but I had just managed to get out of a very abusive home. The abuse didn't stop once we broke up. It continued right up until I left and I was still incredibly raw from years of hell. Coupled with this break up being so unexpected I bonked out harder than I have in a while.  Had it just been Boring-Ex and I breaking up, again, I would have been fine. Well. Less traumatized. Well. Not threatening suicide. Which I did. After too much wine and vodka. I was being overly dramatic. I wasn’t really going to do anything. Even then I knew he wasn’t worth even contemplating that. I just wanted him to feel bad. I wanted him to know what a jerk he was and how horribly he was treating me. Bad move on my part b/c he fancies himself a hero of the people and since he wasn’t near enough to me he called the cops. Cops and an ambulance came.  I managed to kick the rescue kids out of my kitchen, but I couldn’t shake the cop out. I was FURIOUS. Apparently Boring-Ex told him I’d overdosed? I was never so specific and of all the ways I could off myself I wouldn’t choose something so passive. I was actually confused when the cop told me this. Anyways, it was either “voluntary” hospitalization or he’d have to process me. Fuck that.

I had managed to slash up my arms a bit and gashed my ankle worse than I ever have before. I did myself some nerve damage on that one. I only had time to draw a band-aid over it really tightly though because I wasn’t about to tell the cop I’d hurt myself.   I pulled on a huge sweatshirt and eventually let him lead me to the car. I managed to hide this from the Psych people too otherwise they wouldn't have let me go.

As soon as the taxi dropped me back home in the morning I had to run to the drug store for Steri-strips b/c I had to suture my leg closed. That’s always fun.

Perhaps I’ll do another post concerning my adventures in the Psych ER. Lemme know if you’re interested.

In conclusion, if I seem more down than usual in the next week or so, blame the season. This is an irrationally bad time of the year for me. I’m doing what I can to make it less so. Do they do temporary lobotomies? I could really use one about now. Just for a week or two.

BTW, all those chirpy birds need to shut it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Adding to the Cocktail…

Festive isn't it? 

So there are times I miss therapy twice a week. But not on the weeks where I have therapy twice a week and a psychiatrist appointment. 3 mental health days per week is just silly.

Saw the psychiatrist today. Seeing Dr. Y is not an in depth analysis. He’s primarily a drug doctor. I talk to him for about 15 minutes about the big stuff and he gives me drugs. I was telling him about major fluxuations between intense anger and complete detachment. How I feel like I’m floating and retreating inwards when things conflict with me. And this is a particularly depressing time of year for me (Spoiler Alert: stay tuned for tomorrow!). He asked about the techniques that my therapist and I utilize. We discussed that for a hot minute as he nodded and took notes in my file.

Then states… for the record: There is no medication for Borderline Personality Disorder.

Thanks, doc. I got that.

Bleh, so he’s increased my Lamictal to 300 mg. 150mg 2x/day. Excellent. So far I don’t think this is doing anything for me. Maaaaaaaaaaybe a little, but not enough for it to matter.

Trazadone 75-100 mg /night as needed.

And now…

Risperdal ! Awesome. This is another atypical antipsychotic. Remember the last time I was on an atypical antipsychotic/SSRI? I gained like 15-20 pounds! Fuck that noise. Do you have any idea how much that screws with someone that’s eating disordered? Fail. It’s taken me forever to get back down to an acceptable size and I’ve still a couple pounds left to knock off.  He assures me that the dose is so small that it should not affect me adversely, only be a mild aid to the Lamictal. Seriously. I swear, if my waist gets half an inch over 25” again I’m gonna shove a pie down someone’s hole.

So anyways, he decided this would be a beneficial addition in order to treat my…. ambivalence? I didn’t know you could medicate ambivalence. You learn something new every day.

I keep having flashes to that scene in Girl, Interrupted between Susanna and the psychiatrist

Susanna: I'm ambivalent. In fact that's my new favorite word. 
Dr. Wick: Do you know what that means, ambivalence? 
{blah blah blah} 
Dr. Wick: {blah} Ambivalence suggests strong feelings... in opposition. The prefix, as in "ambidextrous," means "both." The rest of it, in Latin, means "vigor." The word suggests that you are torn... between two opposing courses of action. 
Susanna: Will I stay or will I go? 
Dr. Wick: Am I sane... or, am I crazy? 
Susanna: Those aren't courses of action. 
Dr. Wick: They can be, dear - for some. 
Susanna: Well, then - it's the wrong word. 
Dr. Wick: No. I think it's perfect.

Mind you, I never used this word. I just said I was very angry and detached, he came up with this one.


So I diligently looked up Risperdal upon arriving home. Of all the things this drug is used for THIS is my favorite: cure persistent or intractable hiccups. I kid you not.

The list of side effects does not please me. Not that I couldn’t use a decreased sexual interest but weight gain, insomnia, and dysphoria in particular are all things we’re trying to avoid here.

Harumpf. And the medication-go-round goes round and round.

Med count:
Lamictal: 300mg/day
Trazadone: 100mg/day
Risperdal: 0.5mg/day

Lucid Analysis: Trials in Therapy

I’m going to start a new blog series for Tuesdays. Basically going over some of the stuff I work on in therapy.  Touch on the issues, how I react, interact, approach things, techniques to cope and adjust, manifestations, ‘homework,’ what I learn, use,  utilize, and things I work on in therapy in general. I’m still pulling this idea together so I imagine it will alter a bit from week to week. I don’t plan on having a specific format anyways, so I suppose it doesn’t matter much.
I have therapy Monday evening so writing about it for Tuesday will help me remember and better enable me to put it to practice. Maybe it will provide some insight and provide a different perspective on how therapy is presented.
My therapist relies heavily on Schematherapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She also recently brought up that we’ll be incorporating aspects of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, which is one of the more widely recognized therapeutic techniques for Borderline Personality Disorder. Eventually I’ll break these things down and talk about them in depth, but not on Tuesdays. This will be more a look at how we utilize these things, not necessarily what they and each component of them are. 

**I also don't know what to call this series, we'll see.

So take a seat on the couch (there’s always a couch).
We talked about how as a child (how cliché right? No, it’s necessary) attention was often all critical, or all loving, with little to no intermediary. As a result it’s “difficult” for me to internalize a middle ground. This is part of my Splitting. Maybe the origins as I know this started very young for me. She explains to me that sometimes people to hurtful things, sometimes caring things, and a multitude of variations in between, but people encompass all of these things at one time. One action doesn’t replace another, doesn’t replace another and that’s who they are now. All parts are incorporated to form a whole. It’s the same with interactions. Just because something is hurtful or distressing at one time, doesn’t mean that person no longer cares, doesn’t erase the prior good or isn’t dealing with their own things at the same time or whatever. I know this. My problem is I can’t internalize this. I see people as good, or bad. Reliable or untrustworthy. When I detach from people it’s often because I have this split thinking occurring. I can only hold onto the hurt, not anything else for long. A positive next interaction will make that one easier but I always slip back to how things have hurt. Detach from the positive, expect the bad to keep occurring. Waiting somewhere just outside of sight.
We focused a lot on how I detach around certain people. It’s clearly a coping mechanism that my mind employs because I can’t process my emotions in other ways. It’s one way I protect myself from untrustworthy people.  I learned a long time ago not to trust people. I don’t trust almost anyone. Rejection and Abandonment are the two of the biggest fears people have. For someone like me, it’s out of proportion, magnified and exacerbated beyond reason.
This is in part how I react to people, but also, how others function as well.
Often people are unaware of how they handle hurt/rejection be it overtly, passive-aggressively, etc. When people are unaware of how they deal with their own issues, they often project it back onto others (regardless of where these issues stem from). I’m hypersensitive to the projections of others, therefore more receptive to being hurt by them. Being hyperaware makes these people more influencing on my negative emotional states. Therapist thinks that my detachment isn’t only caused by my own inability to connect. I may be some picking up on how others interact with me, consciously or unconsciously on their part. She wants me to take someone I can trust, with healthier coping strategies, and see how they handle their own hurt. Understand the ways that they deal with rejections to help see how they differ from my own. Not necessarily adopt them, but gain a different perspective. She also wants me to learn more about how my friends deal in order to understand how they project so I can learn to recognize these responses and mediate their reactions so as to not internalize them as more than they are.  
Coffee break
I write a ridiculous amount. Between this blog, others and my journaling I have a lot of writing I do on a daily basis. Really the only part of my day that I’m not actively engaging my brain is the hour or two that I spend at the gym. Even then I sometimes have reading material. As soon as I get home I’m back on the net reading & researching, writing, collecting thoughts and ideas, or picking up one of the millions of books I own and delving into something else. My therapist says I think too much. Between my job and everything else. I don’t give myself much down time. My brain never gets a break.  Therapist wants me to take up some less analytical hobbies. Which I do have. I have a lot of these, cooking/baking, drawing, costuming/sewing, etc, but they’re not primary. She wants me to get out more, lose myself in nature, be more mindful of the world around me and less lost in my mind.
Fire helps. No, not arson, though I can’t say the thought hasn’t crossed my mind on occasion. Sitting in front of the fire pit last night, watching the flames jump and crackle. Friend literally poked me a couple times because I was so intent on the fire and nothing/no one else around me. Staring into the flames is meditative. Constantly changing, chaotic, and warm. Calming. Peaceful.  
Homework: She likes to encourage creativity. This week she wants me to Create a Safe Space. Draw, paint, write about a place that’s a healing place. Something I imagine and envision. A place I can surround myself with in my mind, to think, find solace, in times of stress/distress that is completely of my own creation. This makes it a place no one else can go, so it’s completely protected from outside influence. . It should be a place that incorporates things that I find comforting, people that I feel safe with, images and ideas that hold meaning to me. Include it all and bring it to life on paper. She wants me to draw because I do this often. She also wants me to get colors into the picture. I primarily drawing with art pencils and micron pens, no color, but I’ve been meaning to for a while so I like the suggestion. The more detail, the more color, the more vibrant it will be in my mind and easier to access when I need it.

Therapist talks A LOT. I can’t always process everything she says. There will be times she asks me to repeat things back to her that she’s just said and I can’t. I know I heard the things she said, but I can’t stay in the moment. I float away and it’s like listening to a television from the next room. It registers but doesn’t absorb. Some days I really don’t think an hour is a long enough session. I recently ‘graduated’ back down to one session a week, but there are definitely days I wish I had another.

At the end of every session she tells me that she likes me, I’m a wonderful person, that she enjoys working with me. I see her looking at me, I know she’s talking to me, but she might as well be talking to someone else. I’m not the one standing in front of her.  

Monday, April 4, 2011

Bordering on Wakefulness

I have a terrible time sleeping. Not that this should surprise any of you dear readers, as it’s something I complain about a lot. I’ve had sleep problems, probably sleep disorders, since I was very young. Though I was never treated for it (until recently) I self-diagnosed my own insomnia. All through my teenage years, into college, and periodically still, I’ve had it. Sleeping maybe 1-3 hours a night for weeks on end, then finally crashing for 14-16 hours one day only to repeat the cycle over and over. I’ve been much better than this over the last few years, though certainly not great.
When I don’t get enough sleep, I’m a mess. More of a mess than usual. General fatigue aside; I can feel my mind dragging itself down. My moods shifts, swings more than usual. Concentration is nearly impossible and I slip into daydreams trying to replace the night dreaming I don’t get enough of. My mood is very dependent on sleep. The longer the span of sleep deprivation I have the darker my moods and thoughts begin to get.
I can feel the pressure on the back of my eyes, trying to hold themselves open. My vision distorted by the fatigue I feel. Seeing things differently, especially myself, than I know appear in the real.
Time slips by slowly. The clock ticking endlessly as I wait to for my day to terminate.
My ability to distinguish between the rational and the irrational is obvious. At least it is to me. I can’t help it though. I can’t stop it. All I can do is hope that tonight I find some relief from the restlessness induced by the evening before.
My mind starts roaming and racing, creating scenarios and running away with me. Once my brain starts whirring, working itself up, it’s that much harder to ease myself in a calmer state conducive to restful sleep. I may be physically and mentally exhausted when I lay down, but as soon as I start thinking, my mental activity starts running a marathon and there is no slowing it down.
I love to dream. Dreaming is a wonderful escape for me. Wildly vivid, living a life filled with the fantastic. When I’m sleep deprived, the few hours I do manage to sleep, I seem to be more prone to nightmares. Even in these I’m fascinated by what my subconscious creates, but they only contribute to my fatigue. Causing me to waken frequently. Often in a cold sweat. Heart pounding. Which only makes it more difficult for me to fall back to slumber. Then when my alarm finally sounds I can barely pull myself out of bed. Slipping into deeper depression.
I’ve found very little research done on the correlation between sleep deprivation, insomnia and Borderline Personality Disorder. Most of what I’ve found is pretty typical of anyone that is sleep deprived. Regardless, as someone that doesn’t do it well, I can’t stress the importance of getting an adequate nights rest.

“Sleep disruptions can be a common occurrence for those with borderline personality disorder (BPD). It may be caused by everyday stress, medications, or even the hyper vigilance we’re so predispositioned to. Getting a good night sleep may be easier said than done, but recognizing a problem and discussing it with your treatment provider may help you get some needed relief.”

Since Borderline Personality Disorder is a highly affected mood disorder, anything that impacts emotional regulation is going to be a detriment to the moods in someone with BPD.  Sleep helps humans maintain optimal emotional and social functioning while we are awake by giving rest during sleep to the parts of the brain that control emotions and social interactions.The only small study I did find on BPD and sleep dep reported that "the risk of affective and impulsive personality disorder traits were exacerbated by lack of sleep". I could have told you this with only myself as a test subject. Getting enough sleep is a serious factor with depression in general. Sleep deprivation is one cause of lower levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin as we all know, is the bodies natural way to encourage feelings of well being. Hence, having a deficit of sleep deprived seratonin production may contribute to greater levels of stress and depression. Sleep studies indicate that BPD is not {necessarily} related to depression but that serotonin studies do point to links with suicidal, aggressive and impulsive behaviors, stress and burnout.
“In tasks requiring judgment, increasingly risky behaviors emerge as the total sleep duration is limited to 5 hours per night. The high cost of an action is seemingly ignored as the sleep-deprived person focuses on limited benefits. These findings can be explained by the fact that metabolism in the prefrontal and parietal associational areas of the brain decrease in individuals deprived of sleep for 24 hours. These areas of the brain are important for judgment, impulse control, attention, and visual association.”
Only in the past few months (5-ish) was I finally able to get some treatment for my insomnia. This is actually one of the main things that brought me to finding my psychiatrist. I was having such a hard time sleeping. I knew how it affected me, so I went to see a regular doctor to see if he could prescribe me something for sleep. Turns out he couldn’t. That was something for a psychiatrist to do. That coupled with the fact that I was having very self-damaging thoughts he recommended I find a psychiatrist immediately (after he asked why I had come to see him instead of going straight to the psych ER).  As I’ve mentioned before, as a supplement to my current medication, I am also given Trazadone. Even this doesn’t always help. I can stay awake through it, continue to wake in the night, and feel completely exhausted when I need to get up. It does help sometimes though and something is certainly better than nothing. I have friends on Trazadone as well, and they seem to have much better results with it than I do, so I imagine I have other mitigating factors contributing to my sleep problems that most people simply don’t have.
Curling up in my big comfy bed, buried under blankets, surrounded by soft pillows, lying there waiting for unconsciousness to take me. I always look forward to trying.

~Random Quote

Sunday, April 3, 2011

3 Months Clean

Milestone-ish. Well, maybe not a milestone, but something worth noting. 
I've been self-mutilating thought free for about 3 months! Hah. I never say ‘self-mutilating’ because in my head this automatically transposes to self-mutating and then I have the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song running through my head.
I haven’t cut myself [purposefully] since October/November… sometime around then. Before that, not since April. I often have very long periods between episodes since I’ve gotten older. While I may not actually harm myself, the thoughts are still there. Persistent, in the back of my head, whispering, poking, prodding, any time I feel off or see something sharp. Which is every day. Every day I have these thoughts. I’ve never been without them. Not since I was very young.
I noticed about a month ago, that something was missing. How do you notice an absence of something? You don’t. At least not right away. I just woke up one day, someone mentioned something, and I had one of those ‘Huh, well that’s weird’ moments, but good weird. Realization.
It may not seem like a big deal, but it is for me. I don’t expect that I’ll never have thoughts of harming myself again. It’s kind of like that best friend you’ve had since childhood that you just want to punch every time you see him because you annoy the crap out of each other but you still end up playing together because he’s familiar. Maybe my friend went off to boarding school for a semester. I’m not sad to see him go. Also, why I decided my injurious behavior is male, I don’t know….. and now that I’ve thought about that for three seconds. Anyways.
The last scars I inflicted on myself (5 months ago?) are still very discolored, raised and noticeable. I don’t mind, not really. As mentioned previously I make no effort hide my scars. They’re kind of like any other body-mod to me. But there are mentally healthier ways to modify your skin.
So Yay me!  It really is a good thing.

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